Associate Professor Elham Manea, a Swiss-Yemeni citizen and the author of Women and Sharia Law, argues it is naïve — even racist — to regard the wearing of a burka as a sincere act of faith.
“The burka is not Islamic,” she told the Religion and Ethics Report.
“It’s a tradition that comes from the heart of Saudi Arabia, a region called Nejd.”
Dr Manea says the veiled garment was not worn by women outside of Nejd until Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi regime came to power in the late 1970s.
“The re-Islamisation of Saudi Arabia according to the Wahabi Salafi fundamentalist principles led to the mainstreaming of the burka,” she said.